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Titus, Markey Launch First TV Ads

Two freshman House Democrats facing difficult re-elections are airing their first TV ads of the campaign this week. Reps. Betsy Markey (Colo.) and Dina Titus (Nev.) focus the ads on their disapproval of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which Congress passed in 2008 shortly before they were elected.

“Maybe it’s my 20 years as a small-business owner, but these Wall Street bailouts really offend me,” Markey says in the ad while looking into the camera. “Bailout is just another word for cop-out, and here in Colorado that is not how we do business.”

The Markey campaign spent $80,000 on the ad buy, which will run on network and cable channels in Denver and throughout the district.

The Congresswoman’s first ad comes as she is the target of a media campaign by an outside group. Americans for Prosperity is running a TV ad in the district that accuses Markey of working against Colorado interests by voting in favor of cap-and-trade and health care reform. EMILY’s List has already targeted Markey’s challenger, Republican Cory Gardner, in an ad, and Defenders of Wildlife, which spent more than $1 million to oust then-Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R) in 2008, announced it is going after Gardner as well.

Titus represents a Las Vegas-area district that has been hit hard by bank foreclosures. Using testimonials from district residents, the Titus campaign makes sure to note that Titus took one vote against TARP and highlights her work on behalf of struggling homeowners.

“She stood up for us. … She’s not afraid of the banks. … She even voted against the bank bailout. … She saved our home,” a string of people say in the ad, which began running Tuesday on network stations.

In January 2009, Titus voted against releasing the second half of the TARP money, but the line about Titus voting against the bank bailout was too misleading for the National Republican Congressional Committee’s taste.

“Contrary to the lip service in her ad, Titus never voted against the bank bailout because she wasn’t even in Congress at the time,” said NRCC spokeswoman Joanna Burgos. “Southern Nevada can no longer afford Dina Titus because under her policies Nevada’s foreclosures and unemployment rate are the highest in the nation.”

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